Belfast Telegraph

Blues chairman in favour of Irish League shift to summer fixtures


By Graham Luney

Linfield chairman Roy McGivern says the club doesn't hold an official position at the moment regarding a move to summer football but his own personal view is that a season running from May to February could work.

The Irish League is in danger of losing one of its four European places as Northern Ireland has fallen to 52nd position out of 55 nations in the Uefa Co-efficient list.

And Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill has argued that a calendar switch could see greater fortunes for our clubs in European competition and with that, comes more financial rewards.

Linfield general manager Pat Fenlon said this week that clubs could be more competitive in Europe during a season which runs through the summer months, and McGivern understands that argument.

"We don't have a club position on it at the minute," he says.

"There are different views within the club in terms of staying where we are or changing the season. We will have meetings with supporters clubs in the next few weeks to determine their views. The Northern Ireland Football League (NIFL) will provide clubs with a consultation document ahead of a yes or no vote and we'll consider that.

"My personal view is that European football is very important to clubs and we need to look at an option that will make us more competitive. My understanding is our clubs would be against the League of Ireland model as it seems to be too condensed, but the May to February schedule keeps the festive fixtures and may be considered by clubs."

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